Fellgate Surface Water Management Solution

A truly sustainable solution that provides a greater level of flood protection to properties

South Tyneside, UK



Fellgate estate in Jarrow, Tyne and Wear has a history of flooding and suffered extensive property flooding in 2012, affecting 175 properties. Surface water flooding originates from sewers, highway drainage, run off from land, small local water courses and ditches during heavy rainfall. MWH, now part of Stantec, supported a partnership of Northumbrian Water Group and South Tyneside Council in resolving the flooding issues.


MWH created an integrated model for its initial study, which included a representation of the sewerage system, surface water drainage system, watercourses and rural runoff from fields and green space. MWH’s design approach needed a team with a wide variety of skills.  In addition to engineers, hydraulic modelling specialists and 3D visualisers, the team included landscape architects who designed a natural look and feel to the measures through a landscape plan, planting scheme and habitat design and an ecologist who advised on planting and liaison with schools.


One of the main challenges MWH faced was gaining the approval and co-operation from the community affected by the flooding and the measures proposed to deal with it. The partnership held regular meetings with the local community to share information and discuss risks and opportunities. Schools and the local community centre were consulted during the design to ensure that health and safety concerns were addressed and agreements reached. MWH also used visualisations at customer events and as interactive communication tools.


The solution comprised conventional sewer network enhancements and sustainable measures to manage surface water. Sustainable Drainage Systems measures were formed from native soils, requiring less concrete and producing a lower carbon footprint. AutoCad Civil 3D was used to develop the solution and grading tools and clash detection to optimise the design. The partnership delivered a sustainable solution, providing a greater level of flood protection to properties, wider benefits to the community at a lower overall cost than could be achieved by the individual organisations working independently.

The Fellgate Surface Water Management Scheme has won several awards including the Institute of Water’s Innovation Award 2016, The Legacy – Sustainability Award at the Constructing Excellence North East Awards 2016 and was Highly Commended at the 2016 RICS Awards and ICE North East Robert Stephenson Awards 2016.

Images accredited to Northumbrian Water.

Fellgate Surface Water Management Scheme